/

‘Gokudo Kuroshakai/Nihon Kuroshakai’

by Mark Schilling

Director: Takashi Miike

Language: Japanese (subtitled in English)

Tartan Asia Extreme of the U.K. has released new DVDs of two Takashi Miike classics: 1997′s “Gokudo Kuroshakai (Rainy Dog)” and 1999′s “Nihon Kuroshakai (Ley Lines).” As the Japanese titles indicate, these films are set in the underworld — the former in Taiwan’s, the latter in Shinjuku’s — and both have cross-cultural themes, though Miike’s idea of “borderless communication” is often a fist or bullet. These films are Miike at his best: Brutally surprising, madly imaginative, indelibly original.